Amsterdam is beautiful any time of the year, and January is no exception — provided you dress for the occasion.
According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI1), January is the coldest month in most of the Netherlands. Along the sea coast February is slightly colder yet, when the water of the North Sea is at its coldest.
Normal January weather in Amsterdam is like this: the average temperature is 2.7º Celsius (36.68º Fahrenheit). That’s cold, especially when there’s a stiff wind. It’s a rainy month as well.
You can also expect anywhere from five to eight days of snow — which looks wonderful.
Friday (29) Grey, windy, and from time to time some rain — particularly in the evening. A more or less steady 10° Celsius (50° Fahrenheit) throughout the day, evening, and deep into the night. The windchill factor is 6-7 degrees lower.
Saturday (30) Cloudy and wet, certainly during the morning and lasting into mid-afternoon. In the late afternoon you may actually see a tiny bit of sunshine peek through the clouds. Count on an average daytime temperature of about 8° Celsius (46.4° Fahrenheit).
Sunday (31) Cloudy, at times partially cloudy. Scattered rain showers (either light rain or drizzle), with some forecasters calling for an occasional thunder shower. Temperature around 6° Celsius (42.8° Fahrenheit) throughout the day.
Long Term Forecast: see February
Normal Low and High Temperatures in January
1-10: 0.3 – 5.1° Celsius (32.54 – 41.18° Fahrenheit)
11-20: 0.9 – 5.7° Celsius (33.62 – 42.26° Fahrenheit)
21-30: 0.7 – 5.5° Celsius (33.26 – 41.9° Fahrenheit)
Visiting Amsterdam in January?
It’s a perfect time to have dinner with some Amsterdam locals
Sunshine — but not much
On average there will be 50 hours of sunshine — spread out over the entire month.
That said, while you may see many gray and gloomy days, from time to time there will be several hours worth of blue, cloudless skies. When that happens grab the opportunity to take postcard-perfect photographs of Amsterdam’s sunlit streets and canals.
Since the trees are bare, many canal-side façades that normally are somewhat hidden from view by the foliage are now more easy to see.
Mind you, we’re talking averages here. January can be much colder or much milder. January 2007 was so mild that birds, plants and trees were confused into acting like it was spring. Conversely, January 2010 turned out to be one of the snowiest in a long time.
January 2014 was very mild, as was the entire year. (In fact, 2014 was the warmest year since the weather service started keeping track three centuries ago).
As always, go with the flow. Plan to see some of Amsterdam’s many museums during inclement weather.
Tip: Films shown in Dutch movie theaters are shown in their original languages — subtitled in Dutch.
What to wear in Amsterdam in January
Protect your shoes with a waterproof spray.
Salt spots can be removed with a cloth and some vinegar.
Warm clothes are a must, and you will want to wear a winter proof/waterproof coat or jacket.
A good, windproof hat is not a luxury and no one will look at you funny if you happen to be wearing earmuffs.
Complete you outfit with a warm scarf and gloves.
Don’t forget warm socks and padded insoles.
As always, dress in layers because restaurants, café’s and homes are well-heated.
Amsterdam weather facts: January
• Average lows: -0.5° C (31° F)
• Average highs: 4.4° C (40° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• January 1 – 8:51 a.m. / 4:38 p.m.
• December 31 – 8:24 a.m. / 5:26 p.m.
• Average 72mm (2.8 inches) in 72 hours
The weather during other months
Would you rather visit us during another time of the year? Check the weather page roundup, which includes details about our climate during the other months of the year.
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- Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute ↩
Do not republish or repost.